image used for illustrative purpose only

NAF expects six more attack helicopters from Russia, Italy

The Chief of The Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, on Saturday, announced that the Nigerian Air Force was set to take delivery of additional one Mi 35 gunship from Russia and five attack utility helicopter gunships from Italy to boost the fight against insecurity in the country.

Abubakar announced this when he paid a courtesy call on the Chief of Mambilla, Alhaji Shehu Baju, in his palace at Gembu during his maiden visit to the troops of 23 Quick Response Wing of the Nigerian Air Force at Gembu, Taraba State.

Abubakar, who said NAF would receive the helicopter gunships in March this year, told the Chief of Mambilla that two of the gunships would be stationed in Gembu to combat threats of insecurity in the state.

Abubakar said, “We are also going to open an airstrip and a helipad where smaller planes and helicopter gunships can land. Out of the helicopters we are expecting to take delivery from Italy, two will be stationed here to support the Quick Response Unit in Gembu.

“We have plans to build 30 housing units for our men here. But we are still waiting for the paper, which is before the governor. As soon as the paperwork is completed, work on the housing units will commence.”

The air Chief had earlier said he was on the Mambilla Plateau to interact with men of the 23 Quick Response Unit which was established last year.

The visit, he added would enable him to assess facilities in the unit with a view to improving the welfare of officers and men as well as the security situation in Taraba.

He commended Governor Darius Ishaku for his support to NAF and expressed optimism that the governor would conclude work on the land paper soon to enable the force to commence construction work on the housing project and the helipad.

The Chief of Mambilla  commended the Chief of Air Staff for establishing the 23 Quick Response Unit in his domain, saying the establishment of the unit had helped in addressing insecurity in the area.

He called for the relocation of the proposed headquarters of the unit from Nguroje to Gembu for efficiency, given the population and the difficult terrain of the area. Abubakar immediately granted the request.

Baju, who lauded the successes recorded by NAF in the fight against terror in the North-East, also appealed for the establishment of a NAF hospital and a school in Gembu for the good of the people of his domain.

Welcoming Abubakar to Gembu, the Acting Chairman of the Sardauna Local Government Area, Godwill Sol, commended the NAF officers for the efforts they were making in maintaining the peace on the Mambilla Plateau.

He said government was working towards providing accommodation for the personnel of the 23 Quick Response Unit and that provision was being made to allocate land for the construction of the airstrip for small planes to land on the plateau.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here